Russell Henley Goes Back For Seconds
By Torleif Sorenson on 3/3/14
Russell Henley is in his second year on the PGA Tour player and was looking for his second PGA Tour victory on Sunday at the Honda Classic. After chipping in for birdie at 14, Henley thought his title hopes were dashed after dumping an approach shot in the water at 15. But then, Rory McIlroy couldn't quite close the deal on the 72nd hole, and Henley got a second chance in a four-man playoff.
"I think I was just kind of shocked that I kind of let it get to that point. I thought that I would have hit a better chip and not had a 50-footer for birdie on 18 with where I was on the fairway. Just a little bit of shock."
Fortunately, Henley made the most of his second chance:

"This is not exactly what I was expecting at the start of the week," Henley said afterward. "[But I] played really well [in the second round] at Riviera and almost made the cut. I went from almost last to having a putt on the last hole to make the cut. For some reason that gave me a lot of confidence going into this week. That's really all it takes, I think."
Confidence can be a fickle thing that changes the way the wind changes direction.

As for McIlroy, his 74 on Sunday should not be considered a continuation of his blunder-filled 2013 season; McIlroy upended Adam Scott at the 72nd hole of the 2013 Australian Open in December, and registered a T-6 at the WGC-HSBC Champions before his playoff loss Sunday afternoon. And prior to his Sunday 74, the Northern Irishman went 63-66-69 the first three days.

The other major development on Sunday was Tiger Woods withdrawing after 13 holes:

ESPN's Bob Harig noted that something was clearly wrong at the third hole when Woods winced while hitting a shot way right. After taking extra time to try to stretch at various points, Woods had to very gingerly lean down to retrieve his ball from the hole at the 9th green. From that point forward, it all went downhill.

In a statement on his web site, Woods was quoated as saying, "It's my lower back with spasms. It started this morning [while] warming up."

As for whether Woods will even defend his title this week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral, Woods said, "It's too early to tell. I need treatment every day until Thursday to try and calm it down. We'll see how it is."

This isn't the first time back spasms have broadsided Woods; you may remember this dramatic footage from the 2013 Barclays last August:

Woods is smart enough to know whether or not he needs time off prior to the Masters Tournament in April, including whether his back is so bad that he needs to bypass Doral. Let's hope that, at the least, he is healthy enough to play at Augusta National.

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Image via The Honda Classic

[ comments ]
slimpks1850 says:
Another AMAZING PGA Tour event. Great t.v.
legitimatebeef says:
Yesterday we had the golf on the tube and Ms. Legitbeef asked me who Henley is. I explained that he's a really young guy, who won in his PGAT debut, who's about to win for the second time in less than two seasons on tour, and for whatever reason is ignored by the hype machine. A few minutes later she asked me who Henley is.

I guess Henley's just got boring white golf guy syndrome. From what I saw over his weekend rounds though I was impressed, there is a spark. He seems to have more passion and relish for the big tense moments than your average tour pro. It's stupid how everyone focuses on players like Fowler simply because the media sort of mandates it, when from a pure golf standpoint a player like Henley is way more interesting. Not to mention more accomplished and has greater potential.
slimpks1850 says:
Yesterday as I watched Russell & Rory... Russell was so much more carefree, kid-like, youthful, blah blah blah & Rory was this corporate, stoic veteran-ish pick your adjectives.

What I'm getting at was it seemed they were 10 years apart in age & they're both only 24.
DaRupp13 says:
Did Tiger win? He must given the coverage...
legitimatebeef says:
Good observation slimpks. Rory does kind of have that President of the World affect going on these days. Not really his fault I guess, it was foisted upon him.
SpaceMaNy0 says:
Yeah I noticed the 2 Eldrick videos.

"How'd he finish? Dead last. Yeah, good day for him though." --Shooter McGavin
Trip says:
I think Henley, or any other golfer for that matter, will be more recognized by both fans and the media, when they hang around the first few pages of leaderboards on a fairly consistent basis. Most of the golfers talked about are those who are fairly consistent. Jimmy Walker is off to the best start ever right now, but if he doesn't crack the to 25 in the next few months he will be forgotten.

Also, they should have a new term similar to the MDF. How about TRTF (To Rich To Finish). This way the really rich players can go home without claiming an injury.
Duke of Hazards says:
Awesome tourney. My wife was even glued until the end. Props to Rory being honest and douche-free in the post-round interview admitting it would've been 'undeserved' had he won given the less than stellar final round showing.
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